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From Despair to Hope

In my distress I screamed to the Lord for his help. And he heard me from heaven: my cry reached his ears. Then the earth rocked and reeled, and mountains shook and trembled. How they quaked! For he was angry. Fierce flames leaped from his mouth, setting fire to the earth; smoke blew from his nostrils. He bent the heavens down and came to my defense; thick darkness, veiling his approach with dense clouds dark as murky waters. Suddenly the brilliance of his presence broke through the clouds with lightning and a mighty storm of hail.

The Lord thundered in the heavens; the God above all gods has spoken - oh, the hailstones; oh, the fire! He flashed his fearful arrows of lightning and routed all my enemies. See how they run! Then at your command, O Lord, the sea receded from the shore. At the blast of your breath the depths were laid bare.

He reached down from heaven and took me and drew me out of my great trials. He rescued me from deep waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me - I who was helpless in their hands.

On the day when I was weakest, they attacked. But the Lord held me steady. He led me to a place of safety, for he delights in me. Psalm 18:6-19 (TLB)

Ruth R. Mancilla, from Mexico, was planning her wedding and excited about starting a new chapter in her life. However, that promise of romance and love never came to fruition - her finance suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Slowly Ruth's dream, the joy, and the hope in her life faded. Five days later, her finance died. Her joy was stained with pain, sadness, and loneliness. While her mind tried to make sense of it all, Ruth's heart was devastated.

Ruth's faith, her bedrock, sustained her as she reached out to God with her heart and soul. That faith helped Ruth continue to trust in God's promises. Little by little, renewed strength and a new hope filled her heart. Scripture says that "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles" (Isa. 40:31). Ruth experienced that renewal, trusting in a merciful God to make all things new.

Prayer: Ever-present God, thank you for sustaining us through grief and pain and for restoring our strength and hope, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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